How to live on 24 hours a day by Arnold Bennett

This book, ‘How to live on 24 hours a day’ is about how to use your time more effectively during a working week.  It assumes you get home for about 7, eat and rest and then you still have about 3 hours to do something productive.  I’m not too sure what I think about this book. At times it can be a little condescending and patronising but I have to remember that it was written in 1908 originally.

So now that I’ve got rid of the bad bits of the book and the technical bits, there are some good points to take from it.

Chapters 

It covers reflection, concentration and study techniques in order to accomplish more.  There are 12 chapters in the book as follows:

0.       Preface

1.       The Daily Miracle

2.       The Desire to Exceed One’s Programme

3.       Precautions before Beginning

4.       The Cause of the Trouble

5.       Tennis and the Immortal Soul

6.       Remember Human Nature

7.       Controlling the Mind

8.       The Reflective Mood

9.       Interests in the Arts

10.   Nothing in Life is Humdrum

11.   Serious Reading

12.   Dangers to Avoid

 

Control Your Mind

It shows you how you can control your mind by focussing on one thing and to actually spend time focussing on something that you have a great interest in. There are about three chapters looking at how to find an interest whether its books, art or something quite unusual. After working out how you spend your day and the desire to want to better yourself, one of the first goals is to learn how to control your mind. You can do this by using your travelling time to work for example, to reflect on something you might have read the night before. You might have to bring your mind back to this several times during your journey but the more you practice, the easier it will become. 

Less Sleep?

 It also says that we don’t really need as much sleep as we think we do.  One of the ways it explains that is when we are looking forward to doing something in the evening after work, we don’t feel tired. However, when we normally get home from work, because we think we are tired, we feel even more tired than we probably really are. There are exceptions to this rule and it does say that growing youths do need more sleep but after that, you don’t need as much sleep as you think you do.

It’s quite ironic that I got this book just after I posted the last blog where I was complaining that I really don’t have much time to take on extra work.  I do. I know I do. And I know I can easily waste a lot of time on the internet, checking my personal emails, going on facebook and on twitter.  Those are my three main downfalls so if I can instead schedule a daily or weekly timetable for them, maybe I can be more effective. 

Waking up Earlier

Since reading this book, I have been waking up a little earlier to get more work done most mornings – depending on the sleeping patterns of my girls. I have been feeling a little calmer and more productive because of it, although a little tired on some days too. I’m not sure how long I can keep it going for as I’m convinced routine does not work in my house but maybe for the very same reason, I can keep doing it for as long as it lasts.

If you can get over the awkwardness of reading this book and the presumptions of the author, there are quite a few good bits to glean from this book.

 

 

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